Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bluff City Vegan Eats: Mulan Asian Bistro

Mulan Asian Bistro has operated a location in Germantown, a fancy-pants Memphis suburb, for awhile, but the bistro opened a second location in Midtown a few months ago. Germantown is way too far out for me, and quite frankly, it's way too ritzy for my tastes. Since I live about 30 minutes away, I tend to avoid that suburb unless I have a craving for Mellow Mushroom vegan cheese pizza (the only location is in G-town). So needless to say, I'd never been to the original Mulan location.

But I'd been itching to visit the new Midtown joint since it opened. I finally got around to visiting a couple weeks ago when my Mama drove to Memphis just to meet me for lunch (she's so awesome!). Since we went for lunch, the server handed us both a regular menu and the discounted lunch menu. But none of the boundless selection of tofu dishes were available on the lunch menu.

We were about to order from the pricier dinner menu, when our adorable server man insisted that we save some money by ordering from the lunch menu. "We can substitute tofu in anything!" he said. How often does a server help you save money? Right? That was our first clue that this place was pretty awesome.

Like many Asian places, the lunch menu offered an entree with soup and a spring roll. There was a Mixed Vegetable Soup on the soup menu, but when I asked if the soup was made with chicken broth, the server informed us that it, indeed, was. But he had a keen suggestion — he'd serve the same veggies used in the soup in hot water and we could add soy sauce for flavor. It sounded kinda bland, but it was free with the food, so why not?

Boy, was I wrong about bland! My mom and I were blown away by how delicious a few simple veggies could taste with a little soy sauce and hot water. Genius!

For my entree, I went with the Generel Tso's Tofu (it was General Tso's Chicken on the lunch menu), a Vegetable Spring Roll, and White Rice:

Delicious! The fried tofu and bell peppers were coated in a sweet and spicy sauce that was perfect with the sticky rice. And the spring roll was crispy and loaded with cabbage and other good stuff.

My mom ordered the Tofu with Mixed Vegetables, which I failed to photograph. But it was equally yummy. The brown sauce was absolutely loaded with garlic, which I enjoyed the next day in the form of her leftovers.

Now, just so you know, Mulan has lots of tofu dishes on their dinner menu. But I love that they have no problem substituting tofu in any lunch entree as well.

Mulan Asian Bistro is located at 2149 Young Avenue. Call 901-347-3965.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like an awesome place! And i love when the waiter is helpful and honest like that:) The soup looks amazing!

Barb@ThatWasVegan said...

I want that Generel Tso's Tofu!

Leah said...

Yes! I substitute soy sauce and sriracha with hot water when I make ramen noodles, instead of the flavor packets (which usually aren't vegan anyway)... it's way better, I think.

xvavaveganx said...

This place is awesome for so many different reasons! First, obviously the yummy vegan options are amazing. The food sounds delicious and the soup looks really good! The waiter sounds really amazing, which is another reason this place sounds great! It is so nice that he was willing to offer suggestions, help you save money and he even steered you toward a yummy makeshift soup! Sounds like it offers a great experience along with great food!

Lesley Eats said...

I know there's a lot of good food in Nashville, but you have no idea how lucky you are to have *so* many good options for Chinese-American food. And even real Chinese food. There are some takeout places here and one place that serves authentic, non-veg*n-friendly Cantonese, but I miss my Memphis Chinese food. And now I have another to add to the list!

tender b. said...

Yummy looking tofu.

Mary said...

Wow, that looks so good! Makes me miss a little Chinese restaurant up near Seattle that had great vegan options!